Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wishing I Hadn't Seen That Stupid RoboCop Remake...

When I think of RoboCop I think of really out there satire and an intense level of violence that would put your teeth to chattering, make babies cry, and well... make you laugh so hard afterwards because you couldn't believe a movie actual did that and pulled it off.
So imagine my surprise when this new RoboCop remake came out and accomplished none of that. It felt like someone was playing with a really bad RoboCop action figure, broke it, found some transformers parts and decided to glue those on so at least they could say it was a complete toy. Sorry for the weird metaphor, but let's be serious here... I love the original RoboCop. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. So forgive me as I nitpick the crap out of this thing.

The villains in the original were well defined,
and interesting. This movie had no villains to speak of... zero. It had four potentially good villains...
and somehow managed to give them all nothing to do until the moment they had to be bad. The original film included a forgotten, beat up, and abused Detroit. This remake called for that, but did not deliver... the Detroit I saw here actually looked like a pretty nice place to live.
And I don't care if his motorcycle had a supper cool stand that came down automatically when he stopped to get off... get on with the movie!

Let's not forget that the original RoboCop was an amazing R rated film with intense bloody violence and some brutal images I still can't get out of my head to this day.

This was not just some crazed Paul Verhoeven saying "I need more blood!" He knew what he was doing, calculated how much we could take and made a point to go just beyond that. This remake was some how rated PG-13 and therefore anyone could get in to see it if they just tried. How does this happen?? In the original Murphy's partner is a strong female character...
So why did they replace her with a dude? And even worse, why would they go out of their way to create new female characters and not give them any level of strength or purpose in the film? When RoboCop fights other machines in the original, you forgive the stop motion because it's good enough and allows for the practicality of everything else in the film to work in a time before real CG. When RoboCop fights other machines in the remake, I can't believe how unforgivably false it looks. There's no real excuse for this, the movement was just awkward and jolty. On an even pettier note, I think the suit looked stupidly average. It was a far cry from the iconic image seen here.
You can't fix a bad movie with a good cast. It's clear they tried to make up for the script's short comings by installing a group of stellar actors... Gary Oldman is always aces, Joel Kinnaman has been doing really interesting work on The Killing, Samuel L. Jackson is almost always a good time, Jackie Earle Haley deserved an Oscar for Little Children, and Michael Keaton's been making a real comeback of late. But despite all of their best efforts, they were not in control (just the paint being bobbed on the brush) and could not fix the errors of this broken RoboCop movie.

I understand how José Padilha got this job. I hear the Elite Squad films are great. But the guy just couldn't deliver on a film this size. Believe me, I don't blame him. It's eerily apparent the studio had a great deal of say on this one. Ugh I'm so upset!! Look, I haven't hit on all of the problems here. Just suffice it to say, THIS IS NOT ROBOCOP. Oh well. I'm just glad the original still exists. It seems to me nothing will ever touch it.

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